Football: Bucs Clip Owls to Stay Undefeated in Conference


BUZZARDS BAY, Mass — On Saturday, the Buccaneers hosted Westfield State at rainy and windy Clean Harbors Stadium. Trailing 6-0 at the half, the Buccaneer rallied back from 9-0 down early in the third quarter to beat the Owls, 20-9, and remain undefeated in conference with a 2-2 record overall.

The Basics

Final: Buccaneers 20, Owls 9

Records: Maritime 2-2 (2-0)

              Westfield 0-5 (0-3)

On The Field

For the Bucs

  • Marc Murphy completed 11 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
  • Ja’iel Johnson led all rushers with 81 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown.
  • James Cassidy caught two passes for 52 yards and the go-ahead touchdown. Johnson caught one pass for 10 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Brightman caught five balls for 47 yards.
  • Defensively, Mack Brown led all tackles in the game with 11 total, nine solo. He also had a sack and three tackles for loss.
  • Hugh Wells racked up eight tackles, six solo, had two sacks and four tackles for loss. He also broke up a pass and had a QB hurry.
  • Thomas Garland had three tackles in the game with a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, pass break up and a QB hurry.
  • Cobey Williamson picked up two tackles, a half tackle for loss and forced the fumble that Garland recovered.
  • Demetri Boozer had the lone interception in the game for Maritime.
  • On special teams, Mike Epifano converted his two PATs. Jack Mulligan punted five times for 195 yards, an average of 39 yards per punt and pinned the Owls inside their own 20 yard line twice.

For The Owls

  • Gabriel Fernandez completed five passes for 66 yards and an interception.
  • Running back Jordan Smith carried the ball 15 times for 52 yards and a 26-yard score.
  • Kordell Parrish caught one pass for 37 yards.
  • Defensively, Cullen MacNeil had seven tackles and three tackles for loss.
  • Peter Spinale also had seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
  • On special teams, kicker Evan Milstead hit a 39-yard field goal. Punter Shane Clark punted seven times for 245 yards, an average of 35 yards per punt, and pinned the Bucs inside their own 20 three times.

How It Happened

On a rainy day in Buzzards Bay, the Buccaneers and Owls played a back and forth scoreless first quarter that included two fumbles, one by each team, that changed hands each time. 

In the second quarter, after more back and forth, Westfield broke through and scored on a 26-yard touchdown run by Smith. The PAT snap was fumbled and recovered by the Bucs, keeping the score at 6-0 Owls. In two long drives after the score, one by each team, the teams went to the locker rooms to dry off with Westfield leading 6-0.

On the opening kickoff of the second half, the Buccaneers coughed up the football and Westfield took over with great field position at the Maritime 32. The Owls offense stalled after seven plays and 10 yards and called on Milstead for a 39-yard field goal attempt that he converted to put his team up 9-0. On the ensuing drive, the Buccaneers went 46 yards in nine plays and ended the drive with a missed field goal. Needing something to happen to get the ball back, Boozer intercepted Fernandez on a third and three play to give the Bucs outstanding field position at the Westfield 43. On the next Buccaneers drive, the team went 43 yards in seven plays, capping it off with a 10-yard pass and catch from Murphy to Johnson for the touchdown. The Bucs now trailed 9-7 after the PAT with 2:08 left in the third.

Starting the fourth, the Bucs took a punt from the Owls and started near midfield. They were unable to do anything with it as Mulligan punted. The next two drives ended in turnovers on downs. Maritime took over again with 5:57 left in the ball game. After a rush for 12 yards by Johnson and a 27 yard pass to Evan Dyer, the Buccaneers found a way to score. On a 32-yard pass from Murphy, Cassidy dove into the endzone to make a leaping catch and put the Bucs up 13-9. The Bucs went for two and were stuffed at the goal line. Westfield got the Ball back and were stalled immediately by the Buccaneer defense, losing 10 yards on four plays. Maritime got the ball back after a turnover on downs at the Westfield 26. They put the icing on the cake of this one on a 14-yard score on the ground from Johnson and after the Epifano PAT led the Owls by what would end up being the final, 20-9.

What’s Next

The Buccaneers have a short week ahead as they will host 4-1 UMass Dartmouth on Thursday, October 6th at 7pm at Clean Harbors Stadium to cap off Buc Pride day at the Academy.

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